Tom McNally’s beautifully produced small press B&W anthology Semiotic Cohesionreaches issue 4 with a further selection of short strips all written by Tom himself or Sebastian Borckenhagan.
If you don’t know what semiotics are then you could try looking at the Wikipedia entry on them, but you may be none the wiser for reading it. Some of the stories in Semiotic Cohesion may similarly leave you puzzled with as many appearing to come from an art school background as those coming from a more traditional comics background.
While there is no true thread tying the stories together, the shark is very much the symbol of the title, be it the editorial from The Ancient Shark Of Despair to the Shark Of Wisdom which is illustrated by Brice Reignier and takes in such non-tradition shark locales as desert, mountains and the White House. From chocolate eating robots to demons discussing their female dates, Semiotic Cohesion is never going to be a tradition comic, but for me two strips stand out. Pegasus, written by Paul McNally, tells the story of a winged horse buying cigarettes for a girl and is drawn in a very early Seventies nursery comic style by Nandi Williams. Less traditional is Rhino, written by editor Tom McNally. This is silent strip telling the story of a tiny civilisation which takes over a rhinoceros turning it into a robot to roam the world, with lovely graphite-like pencils by Colleen Brice. Two very different strips, but both left me wanting more.